If you haven’t started thinking about your year-end finances, now’s the time to get started

As we move towards the end of the year it’s definitely time to start thinking about your year-end financial planning. Things like taxes, open enrollment options at work and reassessing your overall financial plan should be done before January and that’s only about six weeks away. Indeed, some of the plans that you need to make are sophisticated enough that starting them in September or October is probably a better idea, but it’s already a little bit too late for that.

Of course the main focus that most people will have is their year-end tax issues but there are other, more complex topics to be addressed like IRA distributions and 401(k) plans. Charitable donations should also be specified and recipients chosen as well as whether to give those recipients appreciated assets like stocks or simply to give them cash.

If you’re looking to convert your traditional IRA or your 401(k) plan into a Roth IRA, now’s the time to do it as well as re-characterizing a previous conversion. What this does is allow you to reverse a rollover or conversion that you made to a Roth IRA.

This is also the time of year to take a look at your open for health insurance and benefits at work as well as finding ways to make the maximum amount of contribution to your workplace retirement plan. Using up all of the funds in any flexible spending accounts that you have as well as other tax advantage workplace health benefit plans is also a must as the end of year approaches.

The simple fact is that, as 2014 looms in the not-too-distant future, now is the best time to sit down and take a long, hard look at all of your finances. From savings to 401(k)s, stocks to long-term bonds and even your emergency fund, many things can and should be taken care of now so that you’ll take complete of vantage of any benefits or breaks that you may be eligible for.

Of course for most people that means giving their financial advisor, accountant or financial planner a call and sitting down with them for a few hours. If that’s you, now is the time to make that call because, since many other people are doing it as well, you made need to give them a few days or even a couple weeks to be able to see you.

If that’s the case, spend this time getting all of your paperwork gathered and in order, writing down or somehow noting any questions or concerns that you might have and getting ready to meet with your advisor and get down to the nitty-gritty is an excellent thing to do.

It’s definitely a smart move financially and, come 2014, will also give you peace of mind of knowing that, if nothing more, your financial house is in order.

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